“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13 NIV)”
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4: 14 NIV)
God wants every Christian to grow in faith (grow in the knowledge of God). Well, that is the delight of every parent, to see their once little baby grow up and become a successful adult in whatever endeavor he/she might choose.
“Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation” 1 Peter 2:2 (AMP)
This article seeks to explain the correct mindset about God’s word we should have in our growth journey as Christians. The spirit of God is one and he reveals the truth of His word unto us per time. For the letter kills but the spirit gives life. For the word of God to profit us we must see from the vista of the Spirit and allow him teach us per time.
Three persons can read the same scripture and see three different things for a variety of reasons which includes but is not limited to the following; reading their selves into the creed (those who make personal and greedy interpretation of the bible), and seeing from the lens of God. No one making a private interpretation of the bible would grow in faith.
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20 KJV)
To grow in God and not fall into error, you must be willing to change your lens and see ONLY through the lens of the Spirit. However, is it possible to look through this lens and still not see completely? Yes. It doesn’t matter your present state, its ok if you don’t know all things NOW, but you MUST be willing to learn and do as you are taught of the Spirit. If you have this mind, then the Spirit shall indeed teach you more of Christ and bring your teachers your way. Apostle Paul had this to say to the Corinthian church and I believe God is saying same to the church today.
“Understand that we know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. He went further to state that when we come into a higher level of truth, we should put away that which we once knew and embrace the truth saying when I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good” 1 Cor. 13:10-11 (MSG)
What God expects from every believer is growth. To be able to continually grow as a believer, do not take a position wherein you are unwilling to yield to (obey and put to use) the truth of God’s word after it has been revealed to you. That you believe something today, doesn’t mean you will believe same tomorrow, as we fellowship with God we grow into a deeper level of truth, helping us come into completeness in God.
As you grow and have a better understanding of the scriptures you must not forget that there is someone who probably still sees from the perspective where you once saw things, be willing to teach the truth of God’s word to such without condemning, while you pray that the eyes of understanding of such is open to see clearly. We must learn to share our insights in the scriptures to other believers with humility of heart (Eph. 3:18).
It is possible that we encounter other believers who read the bible through God’s lens and still see from different perspectives (people interpret the word in different perspectives). In such cases, it is good the two parties are humble, hear each other out and search the scriptures to know the bible’s counsel about the topic (issue) being discussed. Do Not Argue. Sometimes one of the reasons why we argue our point and perspective whether right or wrong and try to make people see from our point of view is because we are so fixated on ourselves that we pay little attention to what the Spirit is saying and would rather show that we are knowledgeable, because knowledge puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1).
Do not take a position in your heart wherein you’re unwilling to yield to the truth of God’s word, or teach the truth in love. To receive God’s word, you need to throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life, only his word is able to save your soul, receive it with meekness (James 1:21 MSG).
In conclusion, always put this to heart as we become complete in Christ (Matured in Christ), for we shall be complete in him and it shall not be long. But for right now, until that completeness comes, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly (expressed in our thirst for God’s word), love extravagantly (expressed in our humility to share our insights with fellow believers).
Love Always Win.
Written by Abraham Omotayo
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
I have come to realize that everyone on the surface of the earth has got that “one thing” that makes their lives tick. It is a constant of life. There is “the what” that drives our lives at every point.
For teens and much younger folks, it may be the quest to perform well educationally. For the youth, it may be a quest to become success (by whatever success metrics used). This includes escaping the much dreaded poverty, so money is pursued like a piece of diamond placed at the end of a 100 metre race. Well, who wouldn’t pursue? Only a glimpse at the shame and embarrassment a lack of it portends, is enough motivation. For the older adults, it may be the quest to consolidate on whatever they have tried to build for the past 20-30 years of hardwork, or lingering hope of better days again for those who fate hasn’t smiled on and as such have nothing to consolidate.
Why this demographical analysis?
It is just to buttress the fact that at any point in time of our lives, there is “the what” makes our life tick. For this thing, you can spend any amount of money to fund it. It is that thing that can make you stay awake for hours in the night. It can make you disappoint even humans, as it controls the core of your entire being. Such is the huge effect that whatever makes our life tick have on us. And On our death beds, it would be what will be most remembered. It is our rallying point!
This thing that makes our lives tick can range across several options, as people have chosen several things to expend their energy on, but the case is very different from a God-minded Christian.
Jesus was teaching the disciples on the Mount and he said to them( and all of us in extension);
Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
There are four components of this Scripture worthy of note here;
- God ( to be sought)
- God’s Kingdom ( to be sought)
- God’s righteousness ( to be sought)
And then the reward for faithfully seeking these first three is presented in the fourth as ALL THESE THINGS or ALL OTHER THINGS.
The Scriptures clearly shows the Christian what to seek and set as the basis for life’s pursuit. And so, although we may be engaged in various activities in life, God expects only one thing to be the first in the rallying point of our lives and existence – THE KINGDOM.
According to Phillipians 2: 10, Scriptures show us the hierarchical grading of all things in God’s universe.
- There are things in heaven.
- There are things in earth.
- There are things under the earth.
Little wonder Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit admonishes us to “…….SEEK those THINGS which are ABOVE”,
And also to ” …set your affection on THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth”. Colossians 3:1 and 2.
Now let us look closely again at 2nd Peter 3.
But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word at kept In store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. 2nd Pet 3:7
“….in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the WORKS THAT ARE THEREIN shall be burned up”. 2nd Pet 3:10
This includes money and all that it can buy.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be Dissolved……..” Verse 11.
It is striking to discover that there are some things that have been reserved for destruction, inevitably! And God in his infinite wisdom has warned us to steer off the temptation to make them the rallying point of our life or core of our existence.
In these last days, God seeks Christians who are not just in Christianity for themselves or what they stand to gain, but people whose hearts are set out for HIM and His purpose. People who indeed are “fellow workers unto the Kingdom of God” (Colossians 4:11).
These people have the matters of the Kingdom as what their lives revolve around. They may have businesses to run, families to keep and report to, certificates to acquire or careers to pursue, but in the midst of all these they have the overriding rallying point of their lives as God and His Kingdom. The purposes of God and being relevant to His program is what makes their lives tick! They sleep it. They breathe it. You wonder why David (even after all his misdeeds) was a man after God’s heart. He had matters of the Kingdom as what made his life tick.
Just recently, a prayer came to my heart strongly and that is; May what makes my life tick, not be what has been reserved for destruction.
I believe this should be your prayer too. There could be no greater tragedy.
Again the Spirit the LORD is asking you….
What makes your life tick?
Written by Olowo Endurance
**All Scriptures cited, unless otherwise stated are from the King James Version**
“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me (Psalm 42:7)”
In the Kingdom, many words and expressions carry very different meanings from what they are implied in the normal world. Such of those words, is the word “thirst”. From the natural standpoint, we know that when a man thirst and he gets water, he is satisfied, and therefore no longer thirsty. In the spiritual, kingdom thirst is not satisfied. Yes I mean Spiritual thirst is not satisfied, when it gets some it still calls for more. So as this thirst is satisfied, shortly after, a deeper thirst begins.
“The leech has two suckers that cry out, ‘More, more!’. There are three things that are never satisfied – no, four that never say, ‘Enough’: (Prov. 30:15) NLT”
“The grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire (Prov. 30:16) NLT”
“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me (Psalm 42:7)”
From the scriptures above, we clearly see that true spiritual thirst is satisfied to only create a deeper spiritual thirst. “Deep calls unto deep”, is the definition of spiritual thirst. A knowledge of God revealed to us today, makes us want to know God the more tomorrow. That is why, you can’t claim to have a thirst for God, and not have a regular act of fellowship with Him. No man claims to have a genuine thirst, without having a strong desire for prayers and study of the scriptures. Spiritual thirst is not a one-time activity, it is a life. Men of thirst pursue God every second of their life with all their breath.
David, a very good example of a man with a thirst also says this.
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalms 63:1)”
“To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (Psalms 63:2)”
David once again brings us back to our definition.
Notice what David said in Psalms 63:2, to see thy power and glory as I have seen thee. He had already seen God, yet he still wanted to see God. Spiritual thirst only proclaims for more. Another example is Moses, whom God said he spoke to face to face, and yet Moses still told God he still wanted to see his face the more. (Num. 12:8, Exo. 33:18).
Thirst opens every believer to deeper insights of God. Mysteries in the kingdom are not opened to people who do not have (show) a strong desire (respect) for such mysteries. The Mysteries of God are not delivered to careless people. And until you show that you will be careful and respect such mysteries of the kingdom, you may never be entitled to them.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls (Matthew 13:45)”
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (Matthew 7:6)”
Many of the secrets which our fathers in the faith possessed, came through a strong hunger for such secrets. And today we are all enjoying the wonders of the kingdom. But some people paid the price, which was their thirst. In fact Jesus, emphatically told us that the price to pay to know more about the kingdom was our thirst. Your thirst is your ticket.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6)”
Notice the use of the words “do hunger and thirst” which implies a continuous act. Not just a one day act. They desire continuously. They don’t stop. They being satisfied today, is the reason they come tomorrow. Their deep today calls for another deep tomorrow (Ps. 42:7). And so every day they keep coming, seeking to see through the secrets of the kingdom. To be sincere, our 10, 15 minutes daily devotion is not showing any act of seriousness. We can’t continue like that and expect to handle some big and deep truth of the kingdom.
This generation, always seek someone to teach them everything. Without them learning to search the scriptures themselves, and that is why we have remained at this point ever-since. We can’t continue to remain at the level we are. Our visa into the next level is our thirst.
“Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jer. 33:3)”
God doesn’t reveal secrets to people, if they don’t ask. Our asking will come out of our desire to know. Our thirst, is just like a drill in an oil field, it keeps digging until it reaches oil. Our thirst creates the will power to keep searching, seeking the things of the kingdom. King David was a man of such thirst, this was what he said in one of the psalms.
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God
“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: When shall I come and appear before God (Psalm 42:2)”
“My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, where is thy God (Psalm 42:3)”
With all this David’s thirst, little wonder God loved him, and called him a man after His heart and even showed him a lot about the mystery of the coming messiah. Many of the patriarchs of old, Isaiah, Moses, Samuel, Enoch, Elisha and Paul, just to mention a few, were thirsty men. Aggressively seeking for God and wanting to know more of Him. This was clearly evident in their lives. They sought him through prayers and searching the scriptures (fellowship with the spirit). And that was why they were able to record the Bible. Can your thirst get anything for your generation? Or you just want to be spoon-fed every time?
Paul had this to say.
“That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Phil 3:10)”
The bible calls us “priests and kings (Rev. 5:10)” in the kingdom. One thing worthy of note of priests is that they were SEEKERS. Always coming into the tabernacle to worship and to offer up sacrifices. They were seekers. Seeking God, so Israel could be forgiven and blessed. Now He has called us priests, are we not supposed to live worthy of our call?
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins (Heb. 10:11) ”
Note the word, “every”, “daily”, “ministering” and yet the bible says all that didn’t take away sins. Now we are in a better covenant, which the mysteries of the kingdom are given for us to know, but the truth remains that we may not handle this secrets if we don’t build a strong desire and crave for them.
Now, thank God for the dispensation of the new covenant. I Believe God is more than willing to see more sons arise to begin to thirst for the things that He says are rightfully ours. The holy-spirit works out this thirst in us. But we need to agree with His work in our lives.
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2:13)”.
“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
So as the Holy-spirit prompts us for fellowship (which leads further to thirst), our agreement to the call opens up God’s thirst in us, hereby qualifying us for more of God. Know that we can always get as much of God, as we will pursue.
If you ever desire God the more in your life, develop a heart of thirst for him, create a passion to seek him continuously. Seek him with all your heart and shortly you will you see your soul being transformed, and yourself being a custodian of great truths that will liberate the world.
God being our Father desires we thirst for His presence, because as we know him the more, so we also get to know who we truly are. Ask Him to create a thirst for Him in you today. Develop a thirst for God and qualify for more of Him.
I Call You Blessed!
Written by Afolabi Samson
Bible trends reveal that God often pairs or groups people together. One may wonder, why is it that after making a perfect man, one that God looked at and called ‘good!’, He said, “it is not good for man to be alone”? Why did Jesus ask the disciples (day of ascension) to gather together in the upper room? When He sent out His disciples to heal the sick, why did He instruct them to go in twos? These are merely a few pointers to the fact that when doing the Master’s work, a one-man army is not better than a “mature body”.
Here are a few reasons why gathering together with other Christians regularly is important.
The Psalmist in Ps 133 talks about the blessedness of brothers and sisters dwelling in unity. The easy-to-read version says “Oh, how wonderful, how pleasing it is when God’s people all come together as one!” This seems to be a declaration of a truth that had been experienced. One can almost picture him reminiscing on past gatherings where he had glorious experiences of sweet fellowship, liberation, and beholding the beauty of the Lord’s holiness; hence he utters “Oh!”, revealing his longing. There are certain indescribable pleasures obtained when we fellowship together. Usually, an experience of awesomeness makes you hunger for more.
It will be appropriate at this juncture to answer this question: What happens when saints gather together?
God is pleased! Just like it will please any parent to have his children and grand-children gathered around him, so it is with God. And what does God do in response to that? He blesses the gathering with his presence. Jesus said in Matt 18:20, “For where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.
And this is where the fun starts.
God being among us
Naturally, some would wonder, “but God already lives in me through His Spirit”. Yes, that is very true. Nonetheless, just the way God is 3 and God is 1, there is a place for God in you and a separate place for God in our midst. They both have different yet interwoven roles and expressions.
It is important to remember that Matt 18:20 is referring to a gathering unto God. NLT says “when 2 or more are gathered as my followers, I am among them”. It is refers to ambassadors of Christ coming together to establish wishes of the One that sent them. Although the verse was used in the context of how an assembly should manage a misbehaving member, it was mentioned as a fact and used to support a specific context; hence it is not restricted to this case alone.
So when we gather together as believers, God comes to be in our midst and fellowships with us as a group. An atmosphere is created for amazing things to happen.
When God is among us, Warmth is generated. Though physical warmth is not totally ruled out, warmth here means tenderness of heart causing genial disposition towards others which helps to build/foster cordial relationships. This will eventually lead to agreement. The hearts and desires of the members are unified by the same Spirit and the group develops what I like to call it the “tower of babel potential”. Of course this does not mean it is a sin for Christians to disagree on certain issues. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God should be given headship, so he works out peace and unity. Eph 4:3 reveals that members have to “ensure” that it happens this way. The fruit of the spirit in the form of patience and love plays out and in time, the truth will prevail. Sometimes both parties are wrong and sometimes both parties are right. Tommy Tenny in his book, Secret Sources of Power said: “An atmosphere of disunity is especially attractive to the enemy because it empowers him. … His kingdom is secure for a moment, because just as unity brings revival, disunity dispels it!”
Coming together will cause us to be united in faith and united in the knowledge of Christ Eph 4:13. As a result, we can do things in one accord and come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Such a unified group easily defeats others, but cannot be defeated easily.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (please read!). Other
Prayer is simply communication with God, ideally a bi-directional one. As important as it is to separate yourself from others to pray, it should not replace the corporate prayer and agreement. Many times, corporate gatherings help to fuel your private worship. Nonetheless, this is not an attempt to prove which is more important.
A noteworthy occurrence was when God told the 120 disciples to stay in one place/room and pray, until the Spirit came upon them. I must confess that such is no more common. Are people ready to commit? I believe the Christians realized the power of praying together and they applied the same principle and got Peter delivered from prison in Acts 12.
An opportunity to build, help and strengthen each other though:
- Wise counsel. Matt 18:15-20. In the church, one has the privilege of getting a combination of “brains” controlled by the Lordship of Jesus. Where else can this be found? There are people in your gathering that can easily judge that problem you are going through often because they have more experience in walking with God than you. Prov 11:4, 15:22, 24:6; Luke 14:21.
- Pooling resources (both spiritual and material). As a church we can pool our resources to help our brother who is in need, instead of letting him bear the burden alone. We can also pool resources to achieve set goals! What do you have to offer?
Ephesians 4 reveals the “capital investments” the Holy Spirit made in the church (vs 7, 11) and the purpose for them: for perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for edifying the body of Christ (vs11-12). Did you notice the transition? In vs 11, it says “He gave to some…”, but goal in vs 13 is “Till we all …” I believe God is an advocate for division of labour, because the gifts are meant for duties. The gifts you’ve been given are not for you alone, but for the benefit of the whole group as well. Team work! It is better, faster, more efficient and more fun when like-minded people work as a team than when either of them works alone.
The proper working of each part contributes to the growth of the whole body (Eph4:16). Once you play your role as an individual, the whole church will grow a little more. Everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for their duty. Passionately steward it! Care a little less about the person who isn’t doing his part correctly. The body of Christ depends on it. You are more significant and influential. (Heb 10:25) Let’s come together to form a mature body, striving towards attaining the fullness of Christ.
Be present! Be available!
Written by Boluwatife Falaye
Blessed is the man that trust in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. (Jer. 17:7)
It will be an ignorant thought or speech to say or think that all of our “spiritual exercises” are just mere activities to make us feel like we are Christians. The act of meditating, studying the scriptures, praying , listening to sermon’s or perhaps your taking time to read this article now, and every other related activities all work together to help improve our response to God.
“It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63)
The state of being dead, means not being able to respond again. For-example, if someone calls your name, you immediately respond, either by saying Hello, or giving some other reply to inform the person, he has your attention. That is called RESPONSE. We all know, dead people can’t do that. Many times, God is also seeking our attention about several issues of our lives, He is calling us, but because we seem to lack God’s word, we tend not to respond to him. But as we read (listen to) God’s word, and as we exercise our spirit man through prayers, every part of us is quickened to life to give God the response He deserves, when he calls. IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT QUICKENS.
I pray that as you read this article, may your spirit be quickened again, and may we all be able to RESPOND to God when He calls.
Writing this article, is for me trying to give a little account on what God has been teaching me for quite some-time now through the scriptures and through my experiences.
My first Air-travel was a great experience. The holy-spirit pointed my attention to the behaviour of people in the aeroplane. Though flying in an air-plane was something that posed a little risk because aeroplanes don’t have accidents they CRASH. And just a little error from the pilot, or the team who manage the flight, and all the lives on board will be lost. Yet, people as I noticed weren’t even scared, everyone was just happy, taking pictures and some even slept. No one cared to ask questions like is the pilot good? Hope he isn’t drunk? Hope the plane is in good condition? We all just TRUSTED our lives into the hands of the pilot and his team.
I have also been privileged to be on large cruise ships, conveying about 3000 passengers and about 1000 crew members. As dangerous as water travel looks, the experience is just pretty the same as the air-travel. They are all just simply TRUST their life into the hands of the captain and his crew.
After I noticed all this and I know that “Life is Just basically a Ride”, I asked “Why Can’t we Just Simply Trust God with our lives like we trust all this Human’s?”
One thing I also discovered is that “it is possible we trust God, as to be our Saviour, we believe His promise of eternal life, heaven and all that BUT not trust him with some other areas of our lives like our finances, marriage etc.” We try to work out those areas ourselves.
We have to know that Rest only comes to us, when we trust. That is why the world today is full of sad people. People strive so hard, and never get the desires of their heart, because they have refused to come to the REST the master has provided for their hearts. Trusting God is not weakness or laziness as the world as made us to believe. It is clinging to the master’s saving grace, knowing that we can’t help ourselves and He alone can help us. Trusting God is actually being STRONG.
“Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” Isaiah 26:4
Faith and Trust are close brothers. When we believe in God’s word, and know that He means every word He says, and He says what He means, we will be able to trust Him easily. Trust builds up just as faith comes. How well we trust depends largely on how well we believe Him (and His word). How well we trust, really affects the amount of quietness and stillness we get in our hearts.
We will only be able to agree with the lord if we can trust Him completely. And we can only journey with Him in this Christian faith if we agree with Him (Amos 3:3). This is important, because many things will come our way that we won’t be able to explain by our minds. At such junctions, all we need to do is just trust God, and know He is in perfect control of the situation of our lives.
We must also emphasize the importance of the new-birth in the topic being addressed. God is the God of all as a creator, but He is our Father as to why we can cry Abba Father. We have a more intimate relationship with Him. Children trust their parents and siblings so much because of the love and the family bond between them.
To develop our potency to trust God, we need to build a deeper consciousness of the spiritual, through prayers and study of the word, and every other thing that makesthe spiritual more real and tangible to us. Trust is birth by intimacy which is built on love. As we fellowship with the spirit the focus turns from us and turns to HIM and we continue to see His Awesomeness and His ability to help us with our challenges and we gradually learn to trust and submit to HIM. There-in lies true REST for our souls.
I CALL YOU BLESSED!
Written by Afolabi Samson